Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Incised Halberd Fern
Tectaria incisa

Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus: Tectaria (tek-TAIR-ee-a) (Info)
Species: incisa (in-KYE-suh) (Info)

Alpines and Rock Gardens

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From spores

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By giancarlo
Thumbnail #1 of Tectaria incisa by giancarlo


No positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative NativePlantFan9 On Feb 11, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Incised Halberd Fern (Tectaria incisa) is a Category One Invasive by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) for southern Florida. This species has escaped and aggressively spread into natural areas in southeastern Florida (Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, zones 9b through 11) from gardens and discarded compost waste, pushing out native species. This species has many synonyms that can be confusing, including Aspidium bifidum C.Presl, Aspidium expansum (Poir.)Desv., Aspidium incisum (Cav.)Sw., Aspidium longifolium Desv., Aspidium macrophyllum Rudolphi, Aspidium macrophyllum Rudolphi var. pittieri H.Christ, Aspidium martinicense Spreng., Bathmium macrophyllum Link, Bathmium martinicense (Spreng.)Nakai, Cardiochlaena macrophylla Fe, Dryopteris martinicensis (Spreng.)Kuntze, Dryopteris serra (Sw.)Kuntze var. incisa (Cav.)Urb., Nephrodium expansum (Poir.)Desv., Nephrodium macrophyllum Baker, Polypodium expansum Poir., Polypodium hastatum Vell., Polypodium repandum Vahl, Sagenia martinicensis (Spreng.)Farw., Tectaria martinicensis (Spreng.)Copel. var. pittieri (H.Christ)C.Chr., and Tectaria martinicensis (Spreng.)Copel. It is a medium-size, drooping fern with large, broad, pale to darker green leaves. The spores are numerous, small and orange, and are on the underside of the leaf. This invasive non-native species is easily confused with a species native to central and southern Florida which is listed as threatened, the Broad Halberd Fern (Tectaria heracleifolia). However, the Broad Halberd Fern is shorter and has fewer, broad leaves. Incised Halberd Fern was at first thought to be native to Florida, but it's invasive nature confirms it is an introduced, naturalizing escapee. This fern has invaded the moist understories of the tropical hardwood hammocks, hardwood hammocks, hardwood swamps and moist sites and bottoms as well as well-drained sites. It is common in several parks and preserves in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties in southeastern Florida, and is spreading. It SHOULD NOT BE PLANTED IN FLORIDA.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Miami, Florida

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